The last time there was a revolution in television, it was from black and white to colour in the 1970s. The next big shift in television technology is from analogue to digital.

What is Digital TV in plain English?

Digital TV will bring better sound and pictures which are compatible with computers and the internet, and provide interactivity for the viewer. The digital TV service will be delivered to homes by cable, satellite, an aerial, or a telephone line.

According to Pat Kidney of Mason Communications, most people will continue to watch on a normal television with a special set top box. An electronic programme guide, or EPG, will offer the viewer a menu operated by remote control. Using this EPG will allow viewers to browse through programmes to find what they would like to view. It will provide the viewer with a customised view of their TV.

Gerard O'Driscoll of Chorus explains that this will allow offer people access hundreds of channels. RTÉ's Gerry Reynolds believes that the digital service will be successful if people are offered value for money.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 December 2000. The reporter is Richard Murphy.